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  1. Today
  2. I assume this isn't a specifically Objectivist symbol. The firebird/pheonix is a symbol of rebirth.
  3. The scientists-on-Mars illustration is also incorrect because it reduces the categories to experience when they are also conditions for scientific knowledge, which is based on experience. Building on the discussions of this thread, I would like to give three arguments to clarify further my points: Randians and Kantians are unable to understand each other's positions while their levels span the following: Transcendent reality: noumenon Phenomena, sense data Transcendental ideas of Kant Transcendental reality of Rand Positions of their philosophies complement each other in the following way: Noumenon is missing in Rand Phenomenon is included in both Concepts condition phenomena (internalism) Transcendental reality is missing in Kant (externalism) The combination of their positions becomes a condition for a new philosophy like this: Nonexistence, from which matter differentiates Material particles Internal concepts External Existence as a metaconcept, which pre-conceptually conditions internal concepts An important provision of studying these arguments is to remain neutral toward both philosophies.
  4. I really should've elaborated a bit more. Sorry about that. There is one and only one "rational" method of thinking. Whatever conclusions you reach by that method, regardless of whatever evidence is at your personal disposal, are rational; whatever you conclude for any other reason is irrational. I use "conclusion" here with a special emphasis on commitment. There's nothing irrational about the guess-and-check method unless it becomes guess-and-cling-to-forevermore. The number of alternative ways someone could arrive at their beliefs (I.e. the number of possible forms of irrationality) is unlimited. They could go by the Bible. They could go by their elders' beliefs or The Party's beliefs or they could go by their negations. They could go by whatever undigested impressions they take from whatever random experiences. They could go by the stars or the weather or the behavior of birds or something they once saw in a bad acid trip. There is an infinity of wrong options. If your only complaint is the way we1 (O'ists) lump all "irrational philosophies" into a single bucket - we1 do that because Objectivism is the only philosophical system that fits with "reason" from top to bottom (in essence and in sum if not in every microscopic detail). We1 can rationally demonstrate that this is true and that it is (again, demonstrably) the single most important factor in the quality of every single one of our1 lives. It's a very real difference which we1 ought to take very seriously. If you have some particular philosophy in mind - name it! I'm far too familiar with the various tribes of Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Gnosticism, Wicca, Satanism (Theistic and LaVeyan), a handful of pagan pantheons, the ritualistic methods of Aleister Crowley and the Indian death cult of which Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was such a good caricature. I did some ideological scavenging before I found Objectivism and most of it is still there, today, wasting some irretrievable portion of my brain. I'd love to put it to some use by explaining to you what's wrong with any particular one but you have to pick one. I will not run through them all, individually, just for your amusement. If you'd be a bit more specific I'd be happy to discuss it (whatever it is). If not then have some music, anyway. It's good for the soul. Footnote 1: I'd like to apologize for my somewhat cavalier use of "we", in that sentence, but if you consider yourself an Objectivist and also believe that reason is either useless or meaningless then I simply don't take any account of you. Life is too short, you know?
  5. Yesterday
  6. From the article. But this is basically what philosophy of mind a information needs to be a significant field of philosophical study. Among our mundane and technical concepts, information is currently not only one of the most important and widely used, but also one of the least understood. We need a philosophy of information. nd language does. He's not wrong, but he's behind the times. Perhaps ethics is a bad field to be in. From my limited experience in upper level academia, the jargon-laden works are in a some humanities like sociology or gender studies. Philosophy isn't doing so bad. On the other hand, cognitive science is my area. I only really deal with people concerned about information, knowledge, and concepts.
  7. Yes. I'll go further to claim Rand discovered the fact of reality that universals are epistemological. So much insanity for so many millennia... even in today's day and age mysticism, intrinsicism, philosophical rationalism are not showing any signs of stopping. Humans don't even need drugs to be whack... it's freaking sad.
  8. The entity itself. That is, any meaning comes from particulars, and exactly those particulars. Any uniting essence is epistemic as far as being a mental construction, classifications of particulars of features that other particulars also have. There is nothing that unites this cat and that cat as the concept 'cat' except my identifying a similarity between them. There is no "perfect" cat either in the sense some features are not shared. This is how I understand Rand as not a nominalist but not like Aristotle either. I believe nominalists like Wittgenstein deny that perception is direct or at least would argue for some subjective notion of perspective.
  9. The idea of Jo and other mythical thinkers is not a sort of dichotomy or division which you point out, but a kind of opposite. The leaf and the branch, or the water and the wave are not the same thing but they are not separate either. Nature could have been and was without you but you cannot be without that of Nature of which you are made. One as an integration not as one and the same.
  10. Just the first function of myth.
  11. Thanks, Harrison. Having taken some computer programing back when the lines of code were still numbered, I gained some insight with what could be done using it by writing a program that emulated many of the responses of the IBM370 mainframe used for the class. One of my classmates commented often how he mistyped his program name while trying to execute it. I saved the 'emulator' under that name. Inevitably, he ran the program, and both he and the teacher where at their wits ends trying to exit from it. I don't think it is a need for a "philosophy of information". I think just having a sound rational approach can be applicable for a great many things. I printed out the 'emulator' program and turned it in as a bonus along with the 'euchre' program I wrote for the final 'exam'.
  12. searching for "Scott Ryan" in the search bar placed on the top right of this page yields several threads. I think Scott Ryan's critique of O-ist epistemology is a good place to start. Intrinsicist universals, that is metaphysical universals, just don't exist. Scott Ryan can hold his breath until he is blue in the face and beyond but there will never be a solution to the "problem of universals" as long as the universals must be metaphysical. Rand's theory makes universals epistemological and that is its merit.
  13. What Campbell is driving at in the Conclusion, as a whole; just the first function of myth; or perhaps as his approach guiding his overall writings in general?
  14. To touch on the "problem of universals", one reference that comes back on a search is from page 29 of For The New Intellectuals: They were unable to offer a solution to the "problem of universals," that is: to define the nature and source of abstractions, to determine the relationship of concepts to perceptual data—and to prove the validity of scientific induction. Also, check out the introduction to ITOE2.
  15. I was curious if anyone else has read this book by Scott Ryan. I am still only on Chapter 1, but I think the author has a lot of clear insights that I haven't read anywhere else. The argument in Chapter 1 is that she missed the "problem of universals" entirely - which is properly a *metaphysical* question, not an epistemological one. Personally I've always thought it was odd that she began the book stating that it was all about the problem of universals, but the word "universal" is not defined, nor is it ever actually substantively used again at all throughout the rest of the book. Instead she talks about epistemological "abstractions". She seems to dismiss and avoid the metaphysical issue entirely. The only thing she mentions is that Plato and Aristotle (and intrinsicists in general) are wrong, that universals do not exist on the metaphysical level. But her only argument is that such universals could not be "perceived" directly, by no means - which is not a necessary feature of intrinsicist metaphysics. And her entire epistemology seems to be aimed at the idea of creating abstract concepts which themselves have both universality and correspondence with reality. If there are no such metaphysically real universals, then to what would these correspond, what meaning or use could they possibly have? The typical nominalist who denies intrinisicist metaphysics doesn't try to steal a notion of universal "concepts" like this, they will openly admit that concepts refer to a collection of concretes and have strictly pragmatic value (and are not any kind of universal abstractions which correspond with reality). Available on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Objectivism-Corruption-Rationality-Critique-Epistemology/dp/0595267335 Available in pdf here: http://www.scholardarity.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Objectivism-and-the-Corruption-of-Rationality-Scott-Ryan.pdf
  16. Absolutely not. This isn't about epistemology. What Campbell is driving at is related to Rand's Sense of Life: " A sense of life is a pre-conceptual equivalent of metaphysics, an emotional, subconsciously integrated appraisal of man and of existence. It sets the nature of a man’s emotional responses and the essence of his character." Myths inform one's Sense of Life. And can even form it, when introduced early.
  17. Hang on, tovarisch. You just placed Ayn Rand on equal epistemological footing with Joseph Stalin on Objectivism Online. What sort of response are you looking for here? Are you asking us to disprove your ridiculous assertion by demonstrating some sort of familiarity with whatever supernatural theories you won't even specify, so that we don't lose you to "the other side"? You sound like you're already there, tovarisch. Try me.
  18. Somehow you and your consciousness are one with its source? Why the division here? A body without the function of consciousness is a corpse.
  19. But also there is the idea of linking the mind with the reality from which is comes and into which it returns by way of disintegration. Jo mentions the fact that religion has its linguistic origin on the Latin religio or "linking back". Somehow you and your consciousness are one with its source and eventual end product. Of course we can now logically understand that link (even without being a materialist or determinist) but the experience of contemplating that link is something additional. This I find interesting. It's false to say we are nothing but material, but at the same time it is true to say that before and after each of us is nothing but material. This is both astounding and mysterious while also being self evident and unsurprising .
  20. While it certainly has its roots in consciousness and existence, reconciling the conceptual to the perceptual would be far more succinct. As language became more refined to encompass new understandings and exposing the old myths for what they were, where can those who revel in the "sense of awe before the mystery of being" retreat to? In this sense, language becomes an enemy that need be destroyed or at least held at bay.
  21. BTW, this could be translated into Objectivist lingo as: reconcile Consciousness to Existence. Though I think much gets lost in translation when you do that.
  22. It would appear so. It may help to research what the IRS considers "voluntary", though. I'd especially recommend the case files. They detail all sorts of ways that people have tried, over the years, to teach the IRS what "voluntary" means, and what was done to them for it. P.S: Before anyone accuses me of evading whatever absolutely perfect solution they believe they've suggested, let me mention that I have read every single post in this thread and responded to precisely what I considered relevant. The OP for context. DA for immediately nailing the heart of the issue. Nicky because he was funny and because I don't believe that actual grown-ups could have such a difficult time with the nature of consent, if they weren't trying to kid themselves. You've had the relevant facts of the matter. Feel free to take a look at the consequences of trying to kid ourselves about it. QED
  23. The fact that America was based on some good ideas has not prevented us from turning it into a slave pen, eventually.
  24. According to your link and a few commonsense assumptions: 1: The procedure for giving up one's citizenship can only be done in person at an American embassy 2: There are no American embassies inside of America C1: One can only give up one's citizenship from outside our borders 3: In giving up one's citizenship one gives up the "right to reside in America" C2: Giving up one's citizenship requires one's physical exile from this geographic area "If you're not rooting for the home team then get out!" And to tell the truth, personally, I would love to go anywhere that wasn't even worse off than America. By all means, show me the door! I can't seem to find one, myself. Too late!
  25. His word choice is a nod to Kant’s Categories, a view which Campbell subscribed to. You could even rephrase (and over-summarize) his first function of myth as: reconcile the phenomenal to the noumenal. “The first and most distinctive – vitalizing all – is that of eliciting and supporting a sense of awe before the mystery of being. Professor Rudolf Otto has termed this recognition of the numinous the characteristic mental state of all religions properly so called. It antecedes and defies definition.” I think you’ll find, however, that his biggest influences were Jung, Spengler, and Joyce.
  26. 'I like cigarettes, Miss Taggart. I like to think of fire, a dangerous force, tamed in a man's hand. When a man thinks, there's a point of fire alive in his mind, and it's proper that he should hold the fire of a cigarette in his hand.' -Cheeky paraphrasing which is almost certainly mangled. More seriously, though, it's a personal value judgement which you can't prescribe. "I don't like people who talk too much about [their own selflessness]. I don't think it's true and I don't think it'd be right if it ever were true." -Mr. Ward "When men are starving to death around you, your feelings won't be of any Earthly use to them." -Francisco d'Anconia "Yours is the Morality of Death." -John Galt You'd be amazed at the sort of reactions you get when you simply point out that altruism and collectivism demand your own suicide (tempered only by your own hypocrisy and consequent self-loathing), the very concept of a God is logically impossible and there simply is no afterlife. I'm not recommending that anyone tries this at home (or anywhere else, under any circumstances). I'm only saying that the results might surprise you. Tesla. YouTube. You're welcome.
  27. How many of the people we usually deal with, in reality and on a daily basis, are both interested in and receptive to these ideas? When you approach people about it the reactions usually range from blind hostility to apathy to mockery. So any device that allows us to identify each other, without having to even mention the subject, is of value to me. I'd give my left hand to have some drinking buddies that I could actually talk to about anything remotely interesting. I'd give both my hands to have one that was a woman. There's a perfectly valid principle there, about telling versus showing, but I don't think it's entirely applicable. Cheers!
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